Some things to read while the media relations department finds other things to do.
The Brewers wrapped up their 2013 interleague schedule over the weekend with a whimper, dropping a 5-3 loss to the Angels to complete a three-game sweep. Noah has the recap, if you missed it.
Yesterday's game turned on this play, as J.B. Shuck's ground ball down the first base line hit the bag, got by Yuniesky Betancourt and allowed three runs to score as the Angels turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 advantage. @AdamMcCalvy says Yuni would've had that ball if it didn't hit the bag, but Rubie Q highlights another issue in our Tweet of the Day:
There is no excuse whatsoever for Yuni Betancourt getting a start for a team that's 20 games under .500 on September 1.— Rubie Q (@Rubie_Q) September 1, 2013
In a related note, Brewer first basemen have a combined .260 OBP this season. That's the lowest OBP from any non-pitcher position on any NL team. (h/t @SamMillerBP)
Khris Davis also had a rough day yesterday, batting cleanup for the first time in his career and going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He's the eighth different player to bat cleanup in a game for the Brewers this season, joining noted feared power hitters like Yuni, Juan Francisco and Alex Gonzalez. @JaymesL noted that he's the 14th different player to bat cleanup since Prince Fielder's departure.
Other notes from the field:
- The Brewers went 6-14 in interleague play this season, and there's a chance that could be the NL's worst record.
- This weekend was the first time the Brewers have been swept in a three-game series at home since Opening Day (h/t @AndrewGruman). They haven't beaten the Angels in Milwaukee since 1997 (also h/t @AndrewGruman).
- Saturday's loss was the Brewers' first of the season when leading after eight innings. @Joe_block notes that they lost eleven such games a year ago.
- 28,175 fans paid to see Saturday's game, pushing the final August attendance number to 421,511 at Miller Park. That means the Brewers gave out over $4.2 million in $10 vouchers over the course of the month. (h/t @ByAndrewWagner)
- The Italian, Polish and Hot Dog won this weekend's Sausage Races, in that order.
- Big League Stew has video of Packers tight end Jermichael Finley spiking the first pitch on Friday night.
|Friday||No home runs|
|Saturday||No home runs|
|Sunday||Carlos Gomez||419 feet||20.01 seconds|
Gomez, by the way, tied a career high with his 19th home run (h/t @Todd_Rosiak). He also had 19 last season.
The Brewer homestand continues today as the Crew welcomes the Pirates to town for the final time in 2013. Tyler Thornburg will take on Charlie Morton at 1:10, and Quinn Roberts has the MLB.com preview. Thornburg is starting in place of Tom Gorzelanny, who has been removed from the rotation and informed that the team plans to use him as a reliever again in 2014.
Today's biggest news is likely to be the Brewer debut of reliever Michael Blazek, acquired on Friday when the Brewers traded John Axford to the Cardinals. Blazek will be in uniform today wearing #54 (h/t @AdamMcCalvy), is on Twitter at @MichaelBlazek34, and you can read much more about him in yesterday's transaction post. @Mass_Haas notes that he still has two option years remaining.
Here's much more on the Axford trade from around the web:
- Adam McCalvy has Axford's reaction to the deal.
- Seeing Axford leave made me nostalgic for the 2011 team.
- Miller Park Drunk says you probably can't think of a cooler guy in franchise history than Axford.
- Over at Cream City Cables, Nathan Petrashek says "today, Axford is just a guy who makes too much money."
- David Golebiewski of Baseball Analytics has a look at Axford's struggles with two strikes this season.
- Kevin Massoth of MLB.com talked to Jim Henderson about his newfound security in the closer role.
- Axford pitched a perfect inning in his Cardinals debut on Saturday.
New Brewer Michael Blazek will be the 27th man on the Brewers' expanded September rosters. They also recalled Donovan Hand to pitch out of the bullpen yesterday and added minor league hitting coordinator Sandy Guerrero to the coaching staff (h/t @AndrewGruman).
Elsewhere in players who are still here: Congratulations are due out to Scooter Gennett and Marco Estrada for being named the Brewers Player and Pitcher of the Month for August. Scooter hit .423/.452/.654 in 23 games in the month, while Estrada posted a 2.61 ERA over five starts after coming off the DL.
Player of the Month honors also could have gone to Khris Davis, who hit .319/.383/.653 in 22 games in August with six home runs. Davis is our reigning Brewer of the Week.
It might be unusual to give the award to a setup man, but Brandon Kintzler probably merited some consideration for Pitcher of the Month after giving up earned runs in just one of his 15 outings. Adam Wieser of Disciples of Uecker has a look at the sinker that's been getting him results.
Aramis Ramirez is also swinging a hot bat lately, carrying a .300/.386/.600 line across his last 14 games. High Heat Stats notes that he's already passed 2000 hits and 350 home runs this season, and could also pass 1000 runs in September.
Meanwhile, Corey Hart did not surpass any milestones this year. He did, however, serve as the inspiration for Mike Bates of NotGraphs' second look at life lessons from the 2012 Brewers.
In the minors:
- This weekend's roster moves featured one likely farewell, as the Brewers removed 2004 first round pick Mark Rogers from the 40-man roster. Rogers, who made just 12 minor league appearances across three rehab assignments in 2013, will be eligible for minor league free agency.
- Meanwhile, congratulations are due out to Helena Brewers outfielder Michael Ratterree, recently named the 2013 Pioneer League MVP, and manager Tony Diggs, named the league's Manager of the Year. Ratterree hit .323/.404/.621 with 12 home runs in 59 games for Helena, while Diggs guided the Baby Brewers to a 41-28 record and a playoff appearance.
- The affiliates went 2-3 yesterday and Helena outfielder Jose Pena had a big day, homering twice in the Brewers' 10-7 win over Billings. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio has lots of notes from Wisconsin's 9-5, 14 inning loss to Burlington from yesterday.
- Looking back another day, Victor Roache homered on Saturday and now has 22 on the season, tying a Wisconsin franchise record.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds first baseman Hunter Morris.
- Last night Noah noted on Twitter that the Brewers still project to select fifth overall in the 2014 draft.
If you weren't around the site this weekend you might have missed JP's look at what we learned last week, with a look back at the end of the John Axford era and much more.
Athletics: Designated catcher Luke Montz for assignment.
Cubs: Designated pitcher Eduardo Sanchez for assignment.
Dodgers: Acquired infielder Michael Young from the Phillies for a minor league pitcher.
Indians: Designated outfielder Tim Fedroff and shortstop Juan Diaz for assignment.
Mets: Signed pitcher Aaron Harang to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Acquired outfielder Michael Morse from the Mariners for a minor leaguer and designated outfielder Eric Thames and catcher Taylor Teagarden for assignment.
Pirates: Acquired first baseman Justin Morneau from the Twins for outfielder Alex Presley and a PTBNL.
Rangers: Designated outfielder Joe Benson for assignment and released pitcher Justin Miller.
Red Sox: Acquired infielder John McDonald from the Phillies for a minor league pitcher and designated pitcher Daniel Bard for assignment.
Reds: Designated pitcher Justin Freeman for assignment.
Yankees: Released outfielder Melky Mesa.
Let's go around the NL Central:
- We enter play Monday with a tie atop the division after the Cardinals beat the Pirates 7-2 on Sunday to climb back into a share of first place. Matt Carpenter had two hits, a double and scored two runs and now leads the NL with 163, 44 and 102, respectively.
- The Reds had a rough weekend in Denver, as their 7-4 loss yesterday wrapped up a series loss at Coors Field. Shin-Soo Choo had three hits, including a double and a home run, but it wasn't enough as the Reds managed just four runs on 15 hits.
- The Cubs took two of three from the Phillies, including a 7-1 win yesterday. Jake Arrieta allowed a single run over 6.2 innings for the victory.
- The Brewers, of course, got swept by the Angels this weekend.
You can read more about those games and all of yesterday's action in the Labor Day edition of Around the Bases at SBNation.com.
Here are today's updated standings and probables:
|Pirates||79||57||--||@ MIL||1:10p||Charlie Morton v Tyler Thornburg|
|Cardinals||79||57||--||@ CIN||12:10p||Adam Wainwright v Mat Latos|
|Cubs||58||78||21||v MIA||1:20p||Travis Wood v Henderson Alvarez|
Today in former Brewers: Zack Greinke stole a base on Sunday, becoming the first pitcher since 2007 to steal more than one in a season. He's one of just two Brewer pitchers ever to steal a base, having swiped one against the Cubs in August of 2011.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History marks the 42nd anniversary of the Brewers beating the Royals 1-0 in 1971 despite having just one hit, a Ron Theobald single that led to a caught stealing. That game also featured the MLB debut of catcher Darrell Porter.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to hand out more of these.